Venezuela and Colombia- GW BUSH-stalked

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"The US Terror War against the Ecology and the poor people of Colombia is caused by the middle class and the elites in the US who are addicted to oil, coal, cocaine, heroin and political apathy?"- Cristo Dahlman, a correspondent in Quito, Ecuador. Twice as big as France, 53 times larger than El Salvador and three times the size of California, Colombia is the only country in South America with coasts on both oceans. Three major rivers, the Amazon, Magdalena and Orinoco, drain the broad valleys and gorges of the many cordilleras which split off from the Andes mountain range. Forty two million people live in Colombia, about one and a half times as many people as live in all of the Central American countries combined. Five million people have fled the country in the last ten years. More than one million have fled next door to Venezuela where the US buys 13 percent of its oil-the land of Simon Bolivar where President Hugo Chavez has become the first Latin American Leftist leader to survive a US backed coup. Conflicts and economic crisis grip most of South America. Plan Colombia is the largest foreign aid package ever sent to a Latin American government, at two million dollars per day. A failed War on Drugs has transformed into a plan to drive peasants off the land so that large landowners (also known as Coca and opium dealers and growers) can seize lands for cattle ranching, palm oil plantations and corporate extraction of coal, oil, minerals and hydro potentials. This is a 50-year struggle between small farmers and the privileged class who already own most of the land and wealth of Colombia. Three years ago the US drafted this plan as a way to attack the peasant-based guerrillas of the FARC-EP and the ELN through a push into rebel held areas of Southern Colombia. The US subsidized United Technology's Sikorsky (Connecticut) and Textron's Bell Helicopter (Texas) to give 60 Blackhawk and Huey helicopters to the war effort. They are used to spray herbicides on coca crops, food crops, peasants and forests. When the Colombian government decided to go to war against the FARC-EP the US knew this equipment would be used by the most brutal and corrupt military in Latin American history. US planners know that Afro-Colombians and Indigenous people are being displaced and endangered by the US militarization- this in a country which already has the third largest refugee population worldwide. "There is a law in Colombia, unwritten, but everybody knows it. It is the 'law of silence.' In essence, a closed mouth captures no bullets." This law applies in the US too: Citigroup (The world's largest bank and drug-money launderer), Enron (Formerly one of the largest energy companies, now the largest corruption scandal), DynCorp (The largest US military contractor) and Eli Lilly have interlocking directorates (Common Boards of Directors) and work together with BP, Texas and Occidental petroleum corporations, Drummond Coal (Georgia) and Coca Cola to push their profit agenda and security needs on the US and Colombian governments. Eli Lilly makes Prozac -- and if you don't like it, you can shut up and eat your pills! The free market brings us a choice between the blue pill and the red bullet. What the US promised would "win" the War on Drugs, has now become a War for Thugs - The Colombian government allows their armed forces to collaborate with the Drug Trafficking, rightwing, death squad paramilitaries of the AUC. More than 10,000 people will die in Colombia in next two years as the result of the US sending billions of dollars of taxpayer-subsidized weapons to Colombia. The collapse of the peace talks was due primarily to the extremist elements in the Colombian military who were emboldened by strong US support, advisers and financial investments. Corruption and drug payoffs are nearly universal in Colombian politics. Few people believe in democracy and less than 20 percent of eligible voters will "elect" the next president in late May 2002. This president will likely be Alvaro Uribe - The candidate of the Drug Cartels, the Death Squads and the Narco-Bourgeoisie. The US Drug Enforcement Agency once indicted Uribe's father for drug trafficking. The Rightist Paramilitary Armies in Colombia "People are brought forward and murdered in front of their fellow villagers. Sometimes they are shot, sometimes they have their heads bashed in with rocks, and sometimes the paramilitaries utilize hatchets and chainsaws. In El Tigre US-backed death squads gathered people into a building, doused it with gasoline, set it aflame, and burned the people alive. But that was not a sufficient level of terror and intimidation. They then took people to the bridge over the Putumayo River, beheaded them and dumped their remains in the river. The bodies washed up a day or two later as a reminder that the paramilitaries can erase El Tigre from the map anytime they want to. It is a brutal lesson. There is a law in Colombia, unwritten, but everybody knows it. It is the "law of silence." In essence, "A closed mouth captures no bullets." Evidence of its power was witnessed everywhere we went in Putumayo. Rarely would anyone talk about human rights abuses other than the fumigation. The dumping of poisons by the United States displaces people, destroys food crops, causes respiratory problems and rashes, is suspected of causing brain damage in young children, poisons water supplies, and kills fish, farm animals, trees, bugs, etc."-Doug Morris of the Brattleboro Area Peace and Justice Group, December 28, 2001. These US-backed Narco-Death Squads were responsible for 400+ massacres and 3000 deaths last year ( 90 percent of civilian casualties) Formed in 1981 to protect narcotics cartels they were organized in depth by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1990. They train with, travel with and telephone the official Colombian military. They rarely attack the rebels preferring the efficient and cheap methods of torture and the murder of suspected rebel supporters. For decades, these death squads who work for syndicates that control 90 percent of drug trafficking in Colombia, have publicly targeted human rights workers and assassinated political candidates. The US Congress identified the AUC, the largest death squad force, as the #1 group the Colombian military must sever ties with in order to receive US aid. President Clinton waived this requirement two days before he left office. Eighty percent of all labor union members killed worldwide in 1998 were killed by Colombian paramilitaries. "One of the most ignored differences between the FARC and its opponents in government and paramilitary forces is that the FARC openly calls for legalization of drugs as part of the program it hopes to bring with its revolution (so has President Fox of Mexico; former Ambassador and Attorney General of Colombia, Gustavo de Greiff; Father Gregorio Iriarte of Bolivia; Peruvian author and journalist, Ricardo Rumrril; and the US Republican governor of New Mexico).- Narco News, www.narconews.com The Center of Earth's Ecological Diversity The Continental US has 800 species of birds, Colombia has 1800 species. There may be more species in Colombia than in all of North America. The war and the herbicide spraying by the US endanger the most biologically diverse region on Earth. Fifty percent of all species live in tropical rainforests. Five to ten percent of all tropical species disappear each decade: 100 species a day. Half of all the land based species on Earth live in the Amazon basin, according to the Audubon website (www.audubon.org). There are more species of fish in the Amazon than in the entire Atlantic Ocean. The only country in the world with more species than Colombia is Brazil, which is seven times larger. Ten percent of all the species on the planet live in Colombia and many live nowhere else. This wildly diverse country, ranks second in the world in the number of plant species and amphibians, third in reptiles. Amid the battle zones grow half the world's orchids and a dazzling variety of jaguars, giant otters, primates, spectacled bears, agoutis, kinkajus and dolphins. There are more species of birds in Colombia (1800) than any other country and 75 percent are threatened. Manatees, tapirs and macaws are only a fraction of the species that are on the verge of extinction in Colombia, a war against paradise. Crop Fumigation destroys coca fields as well as food crops and "alternative development crops" for transition into the legal economy. This barbarous crime is done primarily by private US military contractors (Dynacorp and East Inc. mercenaries) and has increased every year from 1995 to 1999. In response market forces responded by increasing coca output nearly threefold, to grow more coca means to cut more trees. Monsanto Corporation pocketed more than $25 million selling Roundup Ultra poisons that target the 72 Indigenous groups who remain alive. "The government knows that it cannot negotiate with the indigenous to gain access to the natural resources on our lands, so it is waging a war that is intended to kill us or drive us off our territory."--National Organization of Indigenous Colombians The Politics of US Intervention Some organizations blame the whole structure of international trade and finance for the problems in Latin America. At the roots is an entrenched oligarchy that has always opposed land reform, redistribution of income and organizations of small farmers and the poor. And there is the continuous threat of US corporate or military intervention. New ideas and the definition of democracy are controlled by US foreign policy. The war on terrorism like the war on drugs is designed to fail and to create bigger problems. These wars serve as camouflage for the killing of people who won't play the corporate game the way they are told to. Through these wars the US can reward those who do play-those who are loyal and useful. Brutal dictators, drug lords and future terrorists can join the club of patriots if they know their script well. The US uses death squads working with the US funded Colombian army to attack the small-time drug growing guerrilla "terrorist" who won't play the game the way the US wants. The Death squads and Colombian government control 80 percent of the drug trade, most of the drug trafficking and they commit most of the atrocities against civilians, they are the US's friends, some real democrats. And shrewd businessmen. This is the definition of State sponsored terrorism, used as a strategic weapon and it is a strategy that the US has tested and perfected in Vietnam, El Salvador and Guatemala - Social Terrorism: Generalized fear and an impossible context for political involvement, a permanently deformed democratic basis-the Totalitarianism of the whole US image. The CIA, the Bush father-son-brother Dynasty and the arrogance of US Corporate and Banking threats is so far unchallenged in word or deed. The US is adept at creating a milieu in which it can toss out lies that people will swallow with satisfaction. We are told that telephone polling shows that Colombians reject the FARC-EP, when most poor people do not have telephones in Colombia and people are so terrorized by the US backed death squads that they would never feel safe to say how they really feel. Throughout Latin America the US has helped to destroy the whole concept of Democracy. The US is implicated in many coups and military dictatorships throughout Latin American history and into the present in Venezuela. These "Wars" as policy are in truth a war against common sense. The drums of patriotism and "just say No" blind and confuse so that the people of the US think issues are more complicated than they really are-common sense alternatives become unimaginable. So, the drug war machinery keeps investing $50 billion dollars a year of citizen's taxes in to failed policies that create untold and unnecessary suffering around the world. The US military industrial complex always needs an "enemy" and so propaganda is employed to create one if none is readily available. Beating The Bush: Victory in the Air Colombian people need our unity, our solidarity and our outrage to overcome the economic violence, military violence and fumigation violence, as well as the resulting emotional and psychological violence. Campesinos cannot come to the US to change US policy. It is the world's responsibility to do something. People in Putumayo tell anyone who will listen, "We will die if they fumigate again." The US is like a giant octopus, with its tentacles everywhere. It exports more arms than the next 14 countries combined, controlling about 50 percent of global weapons sales. There were 426 massacres last year in Colombia, while 319,000 people were displaced--an average of almost 1,000 per day in 2001--constituting the largest displaced population in the hemisphere. Most of the displaced are women--many of the men were killed or disappeared by the paramilitary death squads. The term "displaced," sounds bad, but the depth of the horror doesn't sink in from a distance. One woman described what it means to be displaced. It doesn't simply mean you are moved from point A to point B. She explained, "They take away your land, your food, your house, often your family and friends through disappearance, murder or massacre, your support, your community, your culture, your history. They burned our farm animals in front of us, you flee with whatever you can carry on your back, and you go to the city and become a beggar in the streets. The pain is unbearable, the shock is sometimes deadly, and many have gone crazy. We can't even protest for basic human rights or they will disappear a family member, or kill us." Seven hundred and forty three people were physically disappeared in Colombia last year. To "disappear" someone is to murder them, but there is no body, hence no closure for the victim's family and friends. It is another form of terror employed against the population. It is the terror of knowing, but not knowing for sure. It is the terror of psychological and emotional instability. I wish I could tell these people that the world cares, that help is on the way, that we are not all barbarians. As another US helicopter flies over the ridge top, I wonder if there is anything to say at all. The fate of Colombia's 42 million people hangs on the whim of US morality and the tenacity of the FARC-EP guerrillas and their many supporters. Viva Bolivar, Viva La Esperanza (Hope!) Jason Marti ANDES LIBRE ecco@andeslibre.zzn.com (520) 312-6662 (USA) When a government calls a policy a "war," as with the war on drugs, things eventually go "boom!" We expect that this will be a protracted conflict. It's also clear that, every day, the United States government wades deeper into this Big Muddy war. Amιrica is a whole made up of many lands and peoples. It cannot, journalistically speaking, be pulled apart. Efforts by the US government to stage a coup in Venezuela, to poison Ecuador's peasants with herbicide, to prop up a puppet narco-regime in Bolivia, to provide cover for a new model of narco-regime in Perϊ, and to bolster sagging public opinion in the United States for a drug prohibition that causes all the ills that Washington claims to be combating in our Amιrica, are all pieces of the same story. Zero Hour in Colombia means Zero Hour for Amιrica. - Narco News The revolution will be reportedS (reportSreport.) More info on Colombia: Narconews, www, narconews.com Colombia Report, www.colombiareport.org Center for International Policy, www.ciponline.org/newnote.htm News Agency for a New Colombia, www.ANNCOL.com Infoshop, www.infoshop.org, CMC, www.Cascadiamediacollective.org Working towards alternatives to and REVOLT against industrial civilization!

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